Wednesday, October 19, 2011

This Is How You Do It


The United States deported the largest amount (sic) of people in the last year in the nation's history, immigration officials say.

John Morton, the director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, says the agency deported nearly 400,000 individuals during the fiscal year 2011 that just ended in September.

ICE said about 55 percent of those deported had felony or misdemeanor convictions. 

Nearly half a million people deported in the middle of a budget crisis. One million since Obama took office

(Ed Note: I'm aware this is a FOX News article, so must be taken with a generous portion of salt. The agenda here is two-fold: a dogwhistle to remind rednecks there's still ten million undocumented workers in the country, and as a broad dig at Latinos who supported Obama in droves. I used this article to deliberately highlight the inherent bigotry presented.)

Of the 400,000 deportations, only 52,000 were for serious felonies like homicide or drug trafficking (not sure how much of that is marijuana, tho.) That's an increase of 89% over the Bush administration's numbers and that, I think, we can all laud. Clearly, tho, the other 170,000 were for simple "crimes" like loitering (e.g. waiting for the van to take them to work,) or other misdemeanors.
The large majority of deportees were simply turned back just after they crossed the border, again, something I think we can all get behind. Nonetheless, it's not a discouragement to people to be arrested and sent back. They'll simply try again someplace less readily patrolled.
People come to America illegally for the same reasons people come here legally: to make a living. Even the poorest working wretches in our country-- doing the most menial, miserable tasks, things you and I would never even consider doing--  earn a salary that is light years ahead of what a modest income in other nations to our south can be. You can't blame them for wanting to scrape bird shit off a bridge cable.
Barring, however, a comprehensive policy that includes immigrants into society who really want to contribute to America, this policy may indeed be the sanest and most humane we can achieve at this point. It certain beats Herman Cain's plan to electrocute people.
It probably doesn't help Cain that Mickey Mouse...I mean, Bachmann... came out in full throated support of Cain's proposal. That's a little like Hannible Lecter supporting the Soylent Green candidate.
I don't forsee an easy end to this issue. It's one that will be with us a long time, and will be contentious until some settlement can be achieved.
That settlement lies somewhere between a 2,000 mile long fence and open borders.